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STANDARD HVOF PROCESS COMPARED TO THE HVOF PROCESS FOR INTERNAL COATING WITH FINE

POWDERS

G. Matthaeus, Dortmund / D; W. Brandl, Gelsenkirchen / D; I.-F. Secosan, Gelsenkirchen / D; G. Marginean,


Gelsenkirchen / D; V. Chirila, Gelsenkirchen / D; D. Ackermann, Bottrop / D

The main argument against the use of the internal HVOF process is the high thermal stress to which the substrates
are subjected during the coating process. Traditional HVOF guns operate with a flame stream energy level of 100
200 kW. Rendering HVOF technology usable for the application of internal coatings requires the reduction of the
energy level of the flame stream to 20 kW, while safeguarding high particle velocity and sufficient temperature
despite the reduced energy level. This requires an inter-coordinated process made up of HVOF gun, powder feeder,
fuel control and powder, based on the use of fine powders with particle sizes of -25 +5m, -15 +5m and -10
+3m.Thermicos ID CoolFlow M HVOF internal spraying gun comes equipped with a 5mm acceleration nozzle and
radial powder feed. It is suitable for internal diameters of 80mm and above and eliminates the typical overheating
problem.The ID CoolFlow M HVOF gun is suitable for internal coatings with Thermico 776 WC-CoCr powder, which
comes in grain sizes of -15 +5m and -30 +15m. A comparison of both processes requires a number of specimen
coatings with different parameters, which have to be compared to reference coatings. These reference coatings are
produced using a Thermico CJS K4.2 - 776/G in combination with WC-CoCr 86 10 4 powder with a grain size of -30
+15m, and a CJS K5.2 - 776 gun, using a finer powder with a grain size of of -15 +5m. The base material
consists of heat-treated steel rings with a hardness of 45 HRC, an internal diameter of 130 mm and a wall thickness
of 10mm. Subsequently, the density, porosity and structure of the specimen is assessed, and they are checked
metallographically and with a scanning electron microscope, including EDX analysis. The specimens wear is
monitored using the prototype of an internal coating test stand, developed by the Institute of Materials Science at
the University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen. It is essentially based on the principle pin-on-disc tribometer for
rotative movements.

1 Introduction The weighing sytem registers the powder mass flow,


which is then measured with great precision via a
The HVOF guns for internal spraying, ID CoolFlow and closed control circuit into the carrier gas in Constant
ID CoolFlow M, are based on CJS technology in Powder Flow mode.
combustion chamber design and feature all the
advantages of a decoupled stream temperature and
velocity control, allowing the processing of very fine
powders without overheating them. When it comes to
the construction of the gun, unlike in conventional
straight expansion nozzles, a redirection of the stream
takes place in the divergent part of the laval nozzle.
The powder is fed in following the redirection of the
stream in the straight part of the expansion nozzle.
The ID CoolFlow gun comes equipped with an 8mm
acceleration nozzle and dual radial powder feed and is Fig. 1. Thermicos CPF 2 Powder Feeder with
suitable for internal diameters greater than 200mm. balancer and heating package.
The smaller ID CoolFlow M is equipped with a 5mm
acceleration nozzle and basic radial powder feed and
may be used for internal diameters greater than 2.2 CJS HVOF Torch
110mm [1].
The reference coatings in this project were produced
ID CoolFlow HVOF guns, powder feeders, fuel control using Thermicos Carbide Jet System (CJS) Fig. 2.
and powder make up an inter-coordinated process
Two different nozzle/combustion chamber
based on the use of fine powders with particle sizes of
configurations, the CJS K4.2 and CJS K5.2, are
-25 +5m, -15 +5m and -10 +3m. These small
available for this gun. This HVOF gun is equipped with
particle sizes require the use of suitable powder
a dual radial powder injection at a 16 angle. The jet
feeders.
temperature is controlled by a kerosene-oxygen
system, while the jet speed is controlled by a
2 Equipment hydrogen-oxygen system. The guns are liquid-cooled
to prevent heat accumulation. Both operate with a two-
2.1 Powder Feeder step hydrogen and kerosene combustion system. The
K4.2 features a small combustion chamber in the
A constant powder flow requires a special powder second step, where less energy is required to create
feeder. The powder feeder in Fig. 1 is suitable for high particle temperatures. In contrast, the K5.2 has a
standard as well as extremely fine powders of <5m. large combustion chamber in the second step, where
more energy is required to create high particle The coatings were sprayed on the internal surface of
temperatures. Coarse particle fractions, especially the substrate which consists of heat-treated steel rings
tungsten carbide and chrome carbide alloys, can be with a hardness of 45 HRC, an internal diameter of
applied using the K4.2. Applying super-fine powders 130 mm and a wall thickness of 10mm. The substrate
demands a specifically designed combustion chamber was degreased, roughened and cleaned prior to the
such as the K 5.2, which has been developed for this coating process. For this procedure, the substrate was
purpose placed in a sandblasting cabin and treated with -60
+20m grain size alumina particles and an operating
pressure of 6 bars at a distance of approximately 200 -
250mm.

3.2 Processing

After preparing the substrate for the coating process, it


was placed in a special test set-up consisting of two
aluminium tubes with a length of 220mm, an internal
diameter of 150mm and a wall thickness of 15mm.
Fig. 2. Thermicos CJS HVOF Gun. The substrate ring was placed in between these two
tubes and fixed to both by set scews. This alignment
was fastened on a turntable which rotates at a
2.3 ID CoolFlow Mono HVOF Gun
constant revolution speed of 180 rpm. To spray the
reference coatings with the CJS guns, the top tube is
The ID CoolFlow Mono gun is a HP HVOF system for
left out. To ensure evacuation of the backscattered
high pressure but cold internal HVOF spraying, Fig. 3.
particles and the hot flue gases, the turntable is
Operating at reduced power levels, the ID CoolFlow
equipped with an internal extraction system Fig. 5.
flame applies coatings at reduced substrate
During and after the HVOF process, the substrate was
temperatures. It is equipped with a single radial
cooled by an air nozzle and the temperature monitored
powder injector and designed to spray internal
by an infrared temperature sensor.
diameters of at least 80mm.

Fig. 3. Thermicos ID CoolFlow Mono HVOF Gun.


Fig. 5. Special test set-up for internal coatings with
3 Experimental Themicos ID CoolFlow Mono Gun.

3.1 Material The two reference coatings were sprayed at the


parameters summarised in Table 1/2
WC-CoCr 86 10 4 powder is the feedstock for
Thermicos 776/F powder, Fig. 4. In order to obtain
fine powder with a grain size of -15 +5 m, the
commercially available feedstock powder was sieved
using a wind sieving device.

Fig. 4. Powder morphology of Thermicos 776/F


powder.
Table 1. HVOF thermal spraying process parameters Table 4 HVOF thermal spraying process parameters
CJS 4.2 (reference parameter) ID CoolFlow Mono 2 (short-distance parameter)

Parameter Value Parameter Value


Kerosene flow rate [l/h] 8 Kerosene flow rate [l/h] 3
Hydrogen flow rate [l/min] 49 Hydrogen flow rate [l/min] 49
3 3
Oxygen flow rate [m /h] 45 Oxygen flow rate [m /h] 15
Powder propellant gas [l/min] 6.2 Powder propellant gas [l/min] 12.8
Vibrator pressure [bar] 2 Vibrator pressure [bar] 3
-1 -1
Carrier rate [min ] 2 Carrier rate [min ] 3
Spraying distance [mm] 300 Spraying distance [mm] 35
Spraying angle [] 105 Spraying angle [] 105
-1 -1
Rotation speed table [min ] 180 Rotation speed table [min ] 180
Gun overruns 40 Gun overruns 60

Table 2 HVOF thermal spraying process parameters Table 5 HVOF thermal spraying process parameters
CJS 5.2 (reference parameter) ID CoolFlow Mono 3 (low-hardness parameter)

Parameter Value Parameter Value


Kerosene flow rate [l/h] 16 Kerosene flow rate [l/h] 2
Hydrogen flow rate [l/min] 40 Hydrogen flow rate [l/min] 65
3 3
Oxygen flow rate [m /h] 45 Oxygen flow rate [m /h] 12
Powder propellant gas [l/min] 6.2 Powder propellant gas [l/min] 12.8
Vibrator pressure [bar] 2 Vibrator pressure [bar] 3
-1 -1
Carrier rate [min ] 2 Carrier rate [min ] 3
Spraying distance [mm] 300 Spraying distance [mm] 55
Spraying angle [] 105 Spraying angle [] 105
-1 -1
Rotation speed table [min ] 180 Rotation speed table [min ] 180
Gun overruns 40 Gun overruns 60

As part of this test series, different parameters, such Table 6 HVOF thermal spraying process parameters
as spraying distance, kerosene flow rate and oxygen ID CoolFlow Mono 4 (no exhaustion parameter)
flow rate, were varied according to Table 3-6
Parameter Value
Table 3 HVOF thermal spraying process parameters
ID CoolFlow Mono 1 (standard parameter) Kerosene flow rate [l/h] 3
Hydrogen flow rate [l/min] 65
3
Parameter Value Oxygen flow rate [m /h] 15
Kerosene flow rate [l/h] 3 Powder propellant gas [l/min] 12.8
Hydrogen flow rate [l/min] 49 Vibrator pressure [bar] 3
-1
3
Oxygen flow rate [m /h] 15 Carrier rate [min ] 3
Powder propellant gas [l/min] 12.8 Spraying distance [mm] 55
Vibrator pressure [bar] 3 Spraying angle [] 105
-1
-1
Carrier rate [min ] 3 Rotation speed table [min ] 180
Spraying distance [mm] 55 Gun overruns 15
Spraying angle [] 105
-1
Rotation speed table [min ] 180
Gun overruns 60
4 Results and Discussion Fig. 7. Microscope images of the of the ID CoolFlow
test coatings: a) standard parameter, b) short-distance
4.1 Coating Characterization parameter, c) soft-surface parameter, d) no-
exhaustion parameter
Powder morphology and particle size were examined
using a scanning electron microscope with secondary The differences in hardness and porosity between the
and backscattered electron imaging (SEM and BSE, standard parameter and the short-distance parameter
respectively). The samples for the SEM and BSE samples are insignificant, both featuring a hardness of
observation were prepared from a transverse section 1155.75 134 HV 0.3 and 1158.9 143 HV 0.3,
using standard metallographic techniques. The cross respectively.
section of the coatings was examined using a A lower kerosene and oxygen flow rate causes, as
scanning electron microscope as well as a light expected, coatings with a lower degree of hardness.
microscope. In addition, characterizations in terms of All coatings except the ID CoolFlow Mono 4 feature a
porosity and hardness of the coatings were performed homogenous morphology and very fine structure with
by DHS image database software. a porosity of below 1%.
The microscope images of the polished cross section The coating applied without offtake shows a clearly
of the two reference coatings applied with the CJS 5.2 higher porosity in the second half of the coating than
and CJS 4.2 are illustrated in Fig. 6. The thickness of all other coatings, but an increased hardness of
the applied coatings amounts to approximately 150 1250.68 119 HV 0.3. The higher porosity is due to a
m for all samples in this test series. lack of flue gas evacuation during the spraying
process, which also causes a higher substrate
temperature and increased hardness. When the
powder-melting ratio is depressed, various large
particles rebound off the substrate surface and the
coatings tend to feature a higher porosity.

4.2 Conclusion
a) b)
Thermicos new ID CoolFlow Mono allows the
application of high-hardness and low-porosity internal
Fig. 6. Microscope images of reference coatings,
coatings. The variation in oxygen, kerosene flow rate,
applied with WC-CoCr 86 10 4: a) CJS 4.2, b) CJS 5.2
spraying distance and exhaustion show in which way
these factors influence the surface in terms of
The samples of the CJS 4.2 and CJS 5.2 feature a
hardness and porosity. This step was rendered
porosity of below 1%. The hardness was measured
possbile using an inter-coordinated process made up
and amounts to 925.59 HV 0.3 with a standard
of HVOF gun, powder feeder, fuel control and fine
deviation of 200 HV for the CJS 4.2 and 1097.75
powder with a grain size of -15 +5 m. Further
118 HV 0.3 for the CJS 5.2 sample. These figures
improvements in hardness and porsity can be
show that higher flow kerosene rates lead to more
achieved by reducing the powders grain size.
homogenous and improved coatings because of the
higher thermal energy level applied to the coating [3].
5 Literature
Additional microscope images of the ID CoolFlow
Mono test coatings are illustrated in Fig. 7. The
[1] Matthus G., Sturgeon A.: Application of the
changes in parameters according to Tables 3-6 were HVOF process to internal coatings of cylinders, and
made to illustrate changes in hardness and porosity. hard- and software for the internal coating of complex
components. 7. HVOF Spraying Colloquium,
Conference Proceeding, Erding, DE, 9.-10. Nov, 2006.

[2] Matthus G., Picas J-A., Forn-A: Effect of


feedstock powder size on the sliding wear behaviour
of thermal sprayed HVOF Cr3C2-NiCr coatings, ITSC
2004, International Thermal Spray Conference and
a) b) Exposition, Thermal Spray Solutions, Advances in
Technology and Applications, Osaka,
JP, May 10-12, 2004.

[3] Reiners G., Kreye H., Schwetzke R.:


Properties and characterization of thermal spray
coatings, ITSC 1998, International Thermal Spray
Conference and Exposition, Thermal Spray, Meeting
the Challenges of the 21th Century, Nice, Ff, May 25-
c) d)
29, 1998.